To accompany my Pinterest addiction this summer, I have been trying to ween myself off the Cooking Channel and Food Network. Cooking shows, such as "how-to" cook something don't make me hungry. It is the shows such as Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives that get me. Let's face it, summer television kind of stinks and I'd rather salivate and watch Adam Richman gobble down a fancy-schmancy sandwich than America's Got Talent. Sorry reality T.V. and game shows, I'm just not that into you.
I don't know if watching these shows actually makes me eat more or if they make me hungry, but they do give me a lot of inspiration in the kitchen. My challenge is always to try and take a recipe idea, make it gluten-free, and healthy. I'm not quite sure which show I saw a stellar muffuletta sandwich on, but it inspired this healthier salad version.
I like to call this Muffuletta Salad a "manlad" or male salad. Muffuletta sandwiches, pronounced "moo-fu-letta," are a common Italian style deli treat originating in New Orleans. Muffulettas are typically 10-inches in diameter and packed with all sorts of cured meats. I deconstructed the bread, used lighter cuts of deli meat, and topped them on a bed of romaine lettuce. Packed with all sorts of pickled delights, a creamy Italian dressing, meat, and cheese I think this might get any salad hating man in your life to maybe enjoy his greens.
inspired by Emeril Lagasse
Makes 2 entree salads or 4 side salads
1 bag washed and cut romaine lettuce
1/2 cup giardiniera, chopped (Italian pickled vegetables)
1/4 cup green olives, chopped
1/4 cup black olives, chopped
2 tablespoons mild banana pepper rings
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
6 slices deli ham, chopped (I used Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh smoked ham)
6 slices turkey pastrami, chopped (again I used Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh)
4 tablespoons fat-free Italian dressing
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 oz. Swiss cheese cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Divide romaine lettuce onto your plates or you can make on large salad in a salad bowl. Top with the giardiniera, green olives, black olives, banana peppers, tomatoes, ham, and turkey pastrami. In a small dish, whisk the Italian dressing and mayonnaise together until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad when you are ready to serve and top with the cheese.